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Hide and Seek: Mandatory Reporting 

Hide and Seek: Mandatory Reporting
Hide and Seek: Mandatory Reporting
Legal and Ethical Issues in Emergency Medicine

Purva Grover


The system of mandatory reporting was created in response to a growing recognition of devastation that child abuse was causing in the United States. All states designate people in certain professions as “mandated reporters.” This has led to discussion regarding unintended consequences or negative effects of mandatory reporting. What are our obligations toward adult patients who confide that they were abused as a child but are unsure if they want to report this now? Are we still the mandated reporters? How does patient autonomy factor into this? These laws and statutes are complex, and our legal obligations must be weighed against various ethical and practical considerations.

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